Do credit points systems encourage recycling? / Interview with Ansgar Schonlau from Certified Recycled Content
The market for recyclers is currently rather weak, with virgin material often much cheaper than recyclate. Ansgar Schonlau wants to change that, so he founded a German start-up company called CRC – Certified Recycled Content (Billerbeck; together with the plastics recycling experts Dirk Textor and Michael Scriba

They say they want to harmonise the legal requirements for the circular economy with the economic interests of recyclate manufacturers and the branded goods industry. Schonlau explained how this will work in an interview with With CRC – Certified Recycled Content – you have launched a credit points system for the plastics industry. What does your business model look like?

Ansgar Schonlau: Our offer is directed on the one hand at users of recyclates and, on the other, at brand name producers or companies who put plastic packaging into circulation, and will in future have to meet legal minimum application quotas. We bring both parties together: the producers of recyclate products sell, through us, virtual rights in the form of credits (certificates) to companies that otherwise could not meet their obligations to use recyclate, for example because of legal conformity requirements. 

How does CRC earn money?

Schonlau: Our income at CRC stems from the sale of the credits to branded article companies or companies that put plastic packaging into circulation. With this money, we build up a trading platform. Apart from that, users of recyclate, who sell some of their rights, participate in the turnover. 

Such credit systems are not regulated by law. Why should companies become your customers?

Schonlau: The European packaging and packaging waste regulation (PPWR) provides for plastic packaging with a recyclate quota of at least 10% by 2030. With many products, however, this cannot be physically reached because, for example, legal hygiene or other regulations counter it. Via CRC credits, it is possible to prove that the quota has been reached. Our issuing conditions are strict and are audited. 

How does your credit system differ from others?

Schonlau: CRC credits encourage partnerships, because a branded goods firm can only acquire credits for packaging polymers that are identical with those of the later recyclate user. The financial component serves merely as an incentive to use as much recyclate as technologically possible. Through the CRC credits, only what is actually recycled is certified. CRCs are not a compensation model in that it balances out with financial means a lack of motivation to change in the direction of a circular economy. 

Ansgar Schonlau (born 1966) is the managing director of CRC. Following a management buy-out in 2018, he also heads, as the managing partner, the German film processing company Maag (Ense;, which specialises in the production of flexible packaging. Maag currently employs around 80 and reported sales in 2022 of EUR 22 mn. 
28.09.2023 [253541-0]
Published on 28.09.2023
Credits-Punkte fürs Recycling: Kurzinterview mit Ansgar Schonlau von CRCGerman version of this article...

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